Objective: To assess medical students' interest in a career in pediatrics following their categorical pediatric clerkship. Design: Satisfaction questionnaire to 704 third-year clerks in 5 university medical schools following the pediatric clerkship. Methods: Analysis of the influence of the community office-based experience compared with the inpatient experience, and examination aspects of the office preceptorship most valued by the medical students. Main Outcome Measure: Satisfaction questionnaire addressing office-based experiences. Results: Third-year pediatric clerks report that the private office setting provides a valuable learning experience, particularly when there is exposure to a wide spectrum of disease and when the preceptor had time to teach. Feelings about pediatrics as career choice rose during the clerkship from neutral to positive, and the frequency of strongly positive feelings rose from 9.2% to 28.6%. In deciding about pediatrics as a career, experiences with patients and residents in the inpatient setting still seem to count more than those experiences in the outpatient setting. Conclusion: Categorical pediatric clerkships provide learning environments that influence students positively toward pediatrics as a career choice. This choice is enhanced by encouraging community practitioners with students in their office to expose them to a wide variety of issues and devote time to teaching.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health